Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,942.00 ft (591.92 m)
Trail type
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This is a 10-mile hike that contains a portion of Grayson Highlands State Park and follows along the Appalachian Trail to Mount Rogers. It is extremely busy on weekends and only slightly-less busy during the week. As such, the trail is very well worn, well-blazed and marked with signs that help to steer you in the right direction. The trail is mostly in direct sunlight without many water sources for about 8 miles until you reach the Thomas Knob Shelter along the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead begins at the Massie Gap parking lot located in Grayson Highlands. From the parking lot, follow the blue-blazed Rhododendron Trail for 0.5 miles until you intersect with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail toward Mount Rogers. You'll pass the Thomas Knob Shelter, which is the only place to get water on this trail after leaving Grayson Highlands. Be sure to bring a water pump and extra containers if you'll be staying overnight. To find the spring, follow the blue-blazed trail to the left of the shelter to the fenced area. 

You'll see herds of wild ponies during your hike through the park and then again once you reach Jefferson National Forest. These ponies are used to humans and will come right up to you, but it is against state park rules to feed them. Dogs are allowed to roam free on this trail, but be aware of how they will interact with the wildlife.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Great views. Wildlife viewing.


No shade. Few water sources.

Trailhead Elevation

3,786.00 ft (1,153.97 m)


Backcountry camping
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Big Game Watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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